Unless you live in a country where it’s warm all year round, the later month of the year is usually time to ‘”winterize” your motorcycle.

And if you’re unsure about this, this blog post will answer:

  • What “winterization” means – and what it does NOT mean
  • Why you need to winterize your motorcycle or scooter
  • How much it costs to winterize a motorcycle for storage and other things to consider

Prefer to get this information in podcast form? Listen to the 30-Minute Motorcycling Podcast episode about why you should winterize your motorcycle:

What Is Motorcycle Winterizing and When Should You Do It?

Image by Ralph from Pixabay

As I mentioned earlier, if you live in a part of the world where the temperatures drop during the winter months, this is when most people put away their bikes until spring arrives.

Typically, this is done in October or November, just before the winter months arrive (after all, it’s all in the name).

But it can also be done at any point during the year if you know that you’re not going to use your bike for months.

The best way to think about it is as if the motorcycle is going into hibernation.

What winterizing a motorcycle ISN’T

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but when I first heard this term, I thought that all you had to do was strap snow chains or winter tires to your bike.

Well, it isn’t.

What about scooters?

image of scooter in winter

Image by Mario Cvitkovic from Pixabay

The same thing applies to scooters, too – they also need to be put away for storage when not used for long periods of time.

For more specific information about how to winterize scooters, check out this guide from ScootersforNewbies.com.

Why Do You Have To Winterize A Motorcycle? The 2 Most Common Reasons Why

1. Prevents the fuel from going bad

If your fuel sits unused for a while (usually 30 days or longer),  the octane rating drops, and the fuel itself goes bad.

Fittingly, this fuel is known as “bad fuel,” and ti will damage your engine if it runs through it.

2. Stop the battery from draining

But fuel isn’t the only thing that goes bad if a motorcycle or scooter sits unused for too long – the battery is also affected.

More specifically, the charge inside the battery is affected.

So don’t be surprised if you go to start your bike after it’s been sitting for months and nothing happens.

This is especially true if your battery is of the lithium type since these are even more sensitive to the cold than regular lead-acid batteries.

Want to know more about the differences between lead-acid and lithium batteries? Check out the article on The Dual Wheel Journey about motorcycle batteries.

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Motorcycle?

There are 3 main costs associated with winterizing motorcycles:

  1. Storage space
  2. A synthetic cover
  3. A paddock stand (if your bike doesn’t have a center stand)

If you already have a garage, congratulations – your storage space is already covered!

But even if don’t, and you want to store your bike indoors, you’re going to have to pay for storage space.

The rental cost itself varies but generally tends to be the equivalent of $150-$200 for 5 months. 

Can a Motorcycle Stay Outside In The Winter?

image of harley davidsons in heavy snow

Image by xtberlin from Pixabay

For the most part, yes.

But with that in mind, if you must keep it outside during the winter, make sure that you invest in a solid synthetic cover.

This will protect your motorcycle from not only the elements but also from any opportunistic motorcycle thieves.